Thursday, July 02, 2015

Architecture along with Koons and Co.

Earlier in the week I was anticipating more from OPEN Ealing's 20th Century Design lectures  on the subject of architecture imagine my delight when Nick Pearson used much of this weeks session to highlight developments in 'Modern' architecture influenced by the style and materials of the time.
The chair seems central to talk of modern design

Featured architects starting in the early part of the century included the US doyen Frank Lloyd Wright the significant Le Corbusier  and figures associated with  the Bauhaus school like  Mies Van de Rohe  and Walter Gropius - of course, as with almost any exploration around design 'Chairs' featured heavily too.


My first recollection of a real encounter with the world of Jeff Koons would be about 25 years ago when I was working near Lyon in France and I think it was via a book that showed some of his high Kitsch art he had produced- in the time since then he's popped in and out of my world (in fact I saw some of his work quite recently)  and I was therefore intrigued to find that this week's Imagine (BBC1 TV) was all about Jeff.

I mentioned the challenges around confining and keeping pure the subjects of Philosophy and Art within a boundary yesterday and mentioned Marcel Duchamp as a reference well today I watched the Jeff  Koons  TV  programme and it seemed most  timely as the  it referenced Duchamp, what the observer brings to 'Art' and obliquely (of course) what is Art?.

The programme revealed much of Koons progress as an artist influenced by many including Duchamp, Dali (who he met when Koons was just a young man) and Warhol - his work puts the viewer at the centre of the works (by reflectivity) and it can be viewed as  strongly nostalgic encompassing much of his 60s childhood.
Jeff Koon's work often enthrals and bewitches

Koons runs a studio employing more than 100 people and knows his work intimately - including the physics behind the suspended Basketballs shown here.

Much as Warhol was a strange disarming dichotomy of stupidity and lucidity so too did Koons appear to be at turns both charming innocent and also a spectacularly skilful entrepreneur.

Koons seems eminently likable but sometimes has something of the insincere sheen of a TV evangelist when he's speaking about his art .

It was interesting to see just how  Koons who is categorised as a Neo-Pop artist is so conscious of media and marketing
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